Atheism Without The Grey Hairs
A Younger Generation’s Rise to Atheism
Dear all young non-theists! I am Pete Darwin and I’m an avid secular humanist atheist and have been all my life. I’m currently completing a Masters of Science at the University of Melbourne in the area of evolutionary genetics and zoology. Anyway, I am working at putting together a book of essays regarding the younger generations’ rise to atheism.
The idea for this book was brought about when I decided I wanted to tell my story about how I became an atheist, as well as share a bit about my personal life with religion and numerous fundi family members. It’s been a bumpy and interesting ride to say the least. However, while reflecting on my own history with religion and atheism I knew there must be numerous other interesting, amazing, scary, and even heartbreaking stories out there that should also be told.
The majority of what one reads, views or hears about atheism comes from an older generation. They are the authors of books, speakers at conferences and hosts on documentaries, and they do an amazing job at it too. However, I think the voice of the younger generations of atheists and their experiences and stories would be a great addition to the scientific, sceptical and non-theistic realm!
I want to provide a book that younger generations of theists, non-theists and agnostics alike can read, more easily digest, and hopefully connect with on a deeper level. I want to show what kind of person your average atheist is, and present an argument to show that the gap between atheists and theists is much narrower than assumed. To show that we atheists just have a different take on life that is based on scientific evidence and fact. Atheists are the least trusted minority according to US polls, when things couldn’t be further from the truth.
So I think it’s incredibly important to create a book that illustrates who and what the average atheist is like, as well as why, when and how they became an atheist.
I hope the book gives theist readers a better understanding of atheism and atheists in general, and not to fear or hate them as all too many do today. I hope it reassures and strengthens other atheists who read it, and that it gets fence sitter agnostics into the right paddock. I also hope that people in the process of losing their religion, or even those who just starting to question things, with something to connect with and provide a little support and guidance. 
What is required of essay authors?
  • To write 2000-5000 words
    • Firstly, on their rise to atheism (the when, where, why, how), and any other interesting personal stories with religion or supernatural belief.
    • Secondly, on the role atheism plays in your life.
    • Thirdly, on at least one thing that brought them to atheism or solidifies there position there.
For the third section I’d like to cover as many areas as possible, which reinforce one’s stance as an atheist or a sceptic (if it’s about supernatural beliefs like astrology/homeopathy/psychics, etc).
  • Examples: any area of science: evolution, archaeology, geology, history and inaccuracies in the bible, philosophy, issues with morality, Christ mythicism, 
So one would introduce that topic and then explain how it is in direct contrast with theism or supernatural beliefs and affirms their atheism. With any personal stories relating to the topic added in if one chooses.
It doesn’t have to be that exact formula, but the main idea is to have a personal story about how one became an atheist and why one remains an atheist with reference to a specific reason/topic. People are welcome to add in anything extra, and go outside of the word limit if they need.
I will be getting in contact with a number of renowned atheists to be involved with this book, and will hopefully have space for 15-20 essays from average Joe young atheists of all shapes and sizes. I have to just quickly mention that all essays may be edited or asked for editing to be made, and that there’s no assurance that all essays will be published in the book. The best 15-20 will be chosen. Anyway, thanks for your time and keep fighting the good fight my friends!

Please share this information with anyone you know who could be interested, and feel free to contact me at

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Replies to This Discussion

I am sorry to read that your younger generation does not include seventy-year-olds.

After finding that medicine was not for me, even though it broke my mother's heart, I decided to enter the ministry. While I had been a regular church-goer for 16 of my 20 years (at that time) I had never read the whole bible. So my first task, I felt, was to learn about the religion that I believed would save the world. The more I read the less I wanted to have anything to do with the god of either the old or new testaments. One could say that I was saved from Christianity by its own published works. In the last 53 years I have only once darkened a church door except for weddings and funerals. This was to hear my son's inaugural sermon. I learned too late that to save my son I should have driven him to church every Sunday, and just maybe he would have grown up inoculated against the religious virus.

Hmmm John. Would you perhaps start compiling a compendium of such anecdotes for the more elderly? They would make a good book too if you will attract enough essay writers. 


Also, has your son actually really read the Old Testament with its tales of slavery, murder, infanticide, the many genocides,  . . . 

How does he square the 10 commandments with the then-reality of condoning slavery?

Does he believe the Noah mythology in which almost everyone in the world gets drowned, yet presumably up to a billion species of animals, birds and insects get saved?

How does a modern church minister deal with such matters in his sermons? 





FYI guys I've set up a separate blog for the book and any information or announcements in the future. -


Quite a few people have been asking me about a deadline for getting their essay in for the book. There's no real rush currently as I'm finishing up my MSc project from now until November, so I might put the deadline around the end of January of 2012. So let's say Jan 31st for now, and if things change as I'm sure they will we can reassess things.

So for anyone writing an essay currently, or hoping to write one in the future, feel free to send them to me at anytime from now until January. However, I may not be able to read it and offer feed back instantly, but I promise to reply to all submissions as soon as I am able.



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